Grading GM Les Snead’s 11 NFL drafts with the Rams

Rams general manager Les Snead has a brief role in “Change the Equation,” a pre-draft video released by the Rams on Tuesday.

“We need a new formula,” Snead tells coach Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris while standing in front of a whiteboard. “It’s time to get back to the lab.”

Not exactly an Oscar-caliber performance.

“I didn’t come away going, ‘Oooh, I got a career. I got a next chapter in Hollywood,’ ” Snead told reporters during a videoconference.

On Thursday, Snead will oversee his 12th draft for a team that is coming off a 5-12 season.

The Rams have 11 picks in the draft, which begins Thursday in Kansas City, Mo. For the seventh year in a row, the Rams do not have a first-round pick.

Snead drafted four All-Pros — kicker Greg Zuerlein, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, running back Todd Gurley and receiver Cooper Kupp — and the Rams have made two Super Bowl appearances during his tenure.

A look at Snead’s year-by-year history:

2012 picks: 1 DT Michael Brockers, 2 WR Brian Quick, CB Janoris Jenkins, RB Isaiah Pead, 3 CB Trumaine Johnson, 4 WR Chris Givens, 5 OL Rokevious Watkins, 6 K Greg Zuerlein, 7 LB Aaron Brown, RB Daryl Richardson.

Analysis: Brockers was a productive run-stopper, team leader and wingman for Donald. Zuerlein drilled the game-winning field goal in overtime that sent the Rams to Super Bowl LIII. In 2016, the Rams placed the franchise tag on Johnson and let Jenkins become a free agent. Jenkins was a Pro Bowl selection the next season. But Johnson was arguably the big winner, however, earning $31 million while on the franchise tag two seasons in a row.

2013: 1 WR Tavon Austin, LB Alec Ogletree, 3 S T.J. McDonald, WR Stedman Bailey, 4 OL Barrett Jones, 5 DB Brandon McGee, RB Zac Stacy.

Austin, the eighth overall pick, made the All-Rookie team. Before the 2016 season, the Rams shocked many when they gave Austin a four-year extension that included $30 million in guarantees. After McVay took over in 2017, he could not find a way to implement Austin into the offense. Ogletree also made the All-Rookie team and became a productive player and team leader.

2014: 1 OL Greg Robinson, DT Aaron Donald, 2 DB Lamarcus Joyner, 3 RB Tre Mason, 4 DB Maurice Alexander, 6 CB E.J. Gaines, QB Garrett Gilbert, 7 OL Mitchell Van Dyk, DB C.B. Bryant, DL Michael Sam, OL Demetrius Rhaney.

Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald celebrates sacking 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in 2022.

Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald has celebrated many big plays since being drafted in 2014.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Snead selected Robinson 11 picks ahead of Donald, a future Hall of Famer. Robinson struggled mightily before he was traded to the Detroit Lions before the 2017 season. Joyner parlayed a solid 2017 season into a big contract with the then-Oakland Raiders. The Rams made history by selecting Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, but he was released in the final cuts.

2015: 1 RB Todd Gurley, 2 OL Rob Havenstein, 3 OL Jamon Brown, QB Sean Mannion, 4 OL Andrew Donnal, 6 WR Bud Sasser, OL Cody Wichmann, 7 ILB Bryce Hager, DE Martin Ifedi.

Gurley was coming off knee surgery, but Snead took him with the 10th pick. Gurley was the NFL offensive rookie of the year, and two years later he was voted offensive player of the year. Before the 2018 season, the Rams gave Gurley a then-massive extension but a knee issue eventually slowed the two-time All-Pro and he was released before the 2020 season. Havenstein is preparing for his ninth season as a starter.

2016: 1 QB Jared Goff, 4 TE Tyler Higbee, WR Pharoh Cooper, 6 TE Temarrick Hemingway, ILB Josh Forrest, WR Mike Thomas.

The Rams traded up a record 14 spots and selected Goff with the No. 1 pick. Goff endured a tough rookie season — he was inactive for the opener and former coach Jeff Fisher did not play him until the 10th game — but he flourished under McVay. Goff helped lead the Rams to Super Bowl LIII before McVay soured on him late in the 2020 season. The Rams sent Goff, two first-round draft picks and a third-round pick to the Lions for quarterback Matthew Stafford. Higbee is preparing for his seventh season as a starter.

2017: 2 TE Gerald Everett, 3 WR Cooper Kupp, S John Johnson, 4 WR Josh Reynolds, LB Samson Ebukam, 6 DL Tanzel Smart, FB Sam Rogers, 7 DE Ejuan Price.

The top five picks in this draft class played instrumental roles as the Rams built their Super Bowl LIII team. Kupp, the 2021 NFL offensive player of the year, is the only one still on the roster. The Rams let Everett, Johnson, Reynolds and Ebukam become free agents as part of their pursuit of compensation picks.

2018: 3 OL Joe Noteboom, 4 C Brian Allen, DL John Franklin-Myers, 5 LB Micah Kiser, LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, 6 RB John Kelly, OL Jamil Demby, DL Sebastian Joseph-Day, DE Trevon Young, 7 LB Travin Howard, DE Justin Lawler.

Noteboom and Allen, who signed extensions before last season, have missed significant stretches during their careers because of season-ending injuries. Franklin-Myers sacked Tom Brady in Super Bowl LIII but was released before the next season and has flourished with the New York Jets. Joseph-Day did not play as a rookie but emerged as an eventual starter before signing as a free agent with the Chargers.

2019: 2 S Taylor Rapp, 3 RB Darrell Henderson, CB David Long, OL Bobby Evans, 4 DL Greg Gaines, 5 OL David Edwards, 7 S Nick Scott, LB Dakota Allen.

No players from this class are still with the team. All except Allen, who was cut before his rookie season, played key roles at times in the Rams’ Super Bowl-winning 2021 season. With Jordan Fuller sidelined last season, Rapp and Scott were starters. The exodus began during the season when the Rams released Henderson and Evans. Scott, Gaines, Rapp, Long and Edwards signed with other teams.

2020: 2 RB Cam Akers, WR Van Jefferson, 3 OLB Terrell Lewis, S Terrell Burgess, 4 TE Brycen Hopkins, 6 S Jordan Fuller, 7 LB Clay Johnston, K Sam Sloman, OL Tremayne Anchrum.

Akers, Jefferson, Hopkins, Fuller and Anchrum are still on the team but it remains to be seen if the Rams give them second contracts. As a rookie, Akers established himself as a potential lead back. He overcame an Achilles injury in 2020 and emerged from a McVay-imposed exile last season to finish with three consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. Jefferson, Fuller and Anchrum are projected starters.

2021: 2 WR Tutu Atwell, 3 LB Ernest Jones, 4 DL Bobby Brown, CB Robert Rochell, WR Jacob Harris, 5 DL Earnest Brown IV, 7 RB Jake Funk, WR Ben Skowronek, OLB Chris Garrett.

Snead and McVay shocked many — and harked memories to Austin — when they selected the diminutive Atwell with the 57th pick. Atwell did not catch a pass during an injury-shortened rookie season. Last season, he showed deep-threat capability. Jones learned from veteran Bobby Wagner and will be the defensive signal-caller this season

2022: 3 OL Logan Bruss, 4 CB Cobie Durant, 5 RB Kyren Williams, 6 S Quentin Lake, CB Derion Kendrick, 7 OLB Daniel Hardy, S Russ Yeast, OL AJ Arcuri.

Bruss was the Rams’ first pick in the draft — in the third round at No.104. He is expected to return from a knee injury that wiped out his rookie season and compete for a starting role. Durant established himself as a possible starter. Kendrick started six games but did not intercept a pass. Williams struggled with injuries most of his first season. Yeast and Lake and got playing time late in the season.

Source link

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.